News High ideals: Labour has built around 400 homes in each of its local authority areas since the election

Conservative councils build only half as much affordable and social housing

Michael McCarthy: What's so depressing is the inevitability of all this

You might think you've heard it all before, and in a sense you have. There are not huge disparities between the core predictions of how climate change will affect the UK, released by the Government yesterday, and the earlier set of forecasts produced seven years ago. The central estimates of temperature rise by the 2080s, for example, are in the same ballpark.

The outlook for the rest of the century: 40C summer days

Official report predicts impact of climate change on British weather

Kitchen bin war: tackling the food waste mountain

A Government campaign will see the end of confusing 'best before' labels, reduced packaging, and five new plants to convert waste into energy

Brown's authority dealt severe blow as Blears quits

Gordon Brown's authority as Prime Minister was dealt a severe blow today, as Communities Secretary Hazel Blears quit the Cabinet on the eve of crucial European and local elections.

Schools hit by swine flu rescheduling exams

Schools hit by swine flu were rescheduling GCSEs and A-levels today or asking for special consideration for pupils as the summer exam season begins.

South Downs get protected status

The South Downs, the 627 square-miles of undulating chalkland that spreads across Sussex and Hampshire, were designated Britain's newest national park yesterday – more than 60 years after the area was first recommended for protection.

No, minister: mandarins frustrate Miliband's green revolution

His brief is to lead the fight against climate change. But civil servants have other ideas

Desperate bid to save gardens from killer fungus

Government acts to counter threat to trees

Leading article: Save our shrubs

In these financially straitened times, the pressure on ministers to slash expenditure must be intense. So we should be grateful that the Environment Secretary, Hilary Benn, has resisted such pressures and chosen to devote £25m towards halting the spread of the phytophthora fungus through Britain.

Hilary Benn: We must produce more food – without risking farmers’ futures

I want British agriculture to produce as much food as possible. No ifs. No buts. The only requirements: that consumers want what’s produced and that the way it’s produced sustains our environment and safeguards our landscape.

Farmers 'should put food before wildlife'

Farmers have condemned moves to force them to leave fields uncultivated, warning that as much land as possible should be used to grow more crops and create jobs.

£4.3m to be spent protecting bees

An extra £4.3 million will go to protecting bees and conducting research into the threats they face, the Government announced today.

Benn taunted over Heathrow expansion

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn came under pressure today ahead of the Government's expected approval of a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

Brown faces backbench rebellion over airport expansion

Opposition to government plans to expand Britain's key airports was mounting yesterday with the emergence of a major backbench rebellion, the threat of more direct action and the prospect of a fresh inquiry into the policy. Already 41 Labour MPs have signed a motion demanding a vote over the proposed construction of a third runway at Heathrow, enough to overturn the Government's majority.

Farmers to be paid for conserving landscapes

Hill farmers will be paid to protect the natural resources, wildlife and character of their land under a new funding scheme announced by the Environment Department (Defra) today.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable